McCully Workshop Inc.


Band members               Related acts

- Richard Black - vocals, lead guitar

- Mick McCullagh - drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Tully McCullagh - vocals, guitar, bass

- Rupert Mellow - vocals, keyboards

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Genre: p

Rating: *

Title:  M

Company: C

Catalog: S

Year: 19

Country/State: --

Grade (cover/record): V

Comments: m

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4

Price: $

Cost: $66.00

 

O

"" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) 

 

(side 2)
1.) 

 

  1. Why Can't It Rain [4.12]
  2. Hardcase Woman [2.34]
  3. Ice Lover [3.05]
  4. Four Walls [2.40]
  5. Stargazer [2.48]
  6. Rush Hour At Midnight [3.42]
  7. Jackin' Around [2.04]
  8. Head For The Moon [4.00]
  9. The Circus [4.00]
  10. Years Of My Life [3.19]
  11. Fast Car [3.41]
  12. Séance [3.05]

Musicians:

  • Tully McCully: Vocals, bass, guitar
  • Mike McCully: Vocals, drums
  • Richard Hyam: Rhythm and acoustic guitars, vocals
  • Glenda Wassman: Organ, vocals
  • Ian Smith: Trumpet, flute, flugelhorn

    Additional musicians:

  • Allan Faull: Lead guitar on 'Why Can't It Rain', 'The Circus', 'Hardcase Woman' and 'Stargazer'
  • Alan van der Merwe: Vocal harmony and organ on 'Why Can't It Rain' and 'Stargazer'
  • Melanie Hyam: Vocal harmonies on 'Why Can't It Rain' and 'Rush Hour At Midnight'

    Produced by Billy Forrest

Release information:

LP: 1970, Trutone, STO 727

Sleeve notes for 2003 Korean re-issue:

The Psychedelic-Music.com Website describes McCully Workshop's first album like this: "Of all the albums we've heard from South Africa this one is topscore. What a beautiful masterpiece. Pepper-influenced Underground music with great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitarwork."

Since 1965, the McCullagh brothers, Tully (born Terence on 31st May 1953) and Mike (born Michael on 7th April 1947), have become an integral part of the South African pop and rock scene.

"My brother [Mike] who plays drums and myself would play around and record ourselves in the lounge, I was about nine at the time. We recorded a track called 'Swinging Time' with some other friends when I was thirteen and sent it to a record company. The track didn't get anywhere but it was quite interesting. We grew a bit more and when I was sixteen (and Mike 22) we started a band called McCully Workshop and a whole string of other bands and I started a garage studio." – Tully McCully

McCully Workshop have had many line-up changes over the years, but the brothers have always surrounded themselves with superb musicians.

In 1965 they started as a folk-rock trio with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Richard had been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie.

After a few personnel- and name-changes, like The Blue Beats and Larfing Stocke, the line-up settled down (for a while) in 1969 and they called themselves the McCully Workshop because they used to rehearse in Mrs McCullagh's garage.

Glenda Wassman later married Richard, and they formed the pop band Pendulum and had a big hit with 'Take My Heart' in 1976. Glenda then went on to major success with the all-girl group, Clout, who had a huge hit with 'Substitute' which went to #2 in the UK in 1978.

'McCully Workshop Inc' was produced by the great South African singer and producer Billy Forrest. The cover photo was taken by Sigurd Olivier and the cat's name was Sirikit.

'McCully Workshop Inc' was released in June 1970 and included the epic and powerful 'Why Can't It Rain' which went to #12 on the Springbok Radio charts in July 1970.

The album shows a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd.

McCully Workshop also played on country-pop singer Jody Wayne's 'The Wedding' in 1970 which hit #1 for 3 weeks on the Springbok Radio charts.

The follow-up to 'Inc' was an album titled 'Genesis' released in 1971. It was a concept album based on the book of Genesis from the Bible and included a number of long tracks with sub-sections, typical of other prog-rock albums of the time.

Crocodile Harris (real name Robin Graham, from Cape Town), recorded the brilliant haunting pop classic 'Miss Eva Goodnight' (Springbok #5, April 1974) which was written by Mike & Tully and featured the musicianship of all the then current McCully Workshop members.

'Ages' was released in 1975 and reflected musical styles from different ages of music and various influences could be heard: Uriah Heep, The Beatles, The Kinks and The Beach Boys, for example.

Their 4th album, 'Workshop Revisited', released in 1977 shot them to prominence when it introduced South African fans to hits like 'Buccaneer' and 'Chinese Junkman'. The album also saw Mike McCully winning the 1978 'Songwriter Of The Year' award.

They used to play in the late 70s at the Canterbury Inn in the Fairmead Hotel in Cape Town and wonderful renditions of classic rock songs could be heard on a Sunday night. Chicago's 'I'm A Man' (with a lo-o-ong percussion solo), Barry Ryan's 'Eloise', Grand Funk's (or Traffic's) 'Feeling Alright' and of course their own brilliant 1977 hit single 'Buccaneer' could all be heard; of course no dancing was allowed on a Sunday in those dark days, so the audience had to just sit and listen... and listen they did.

In 1998 the line-up from the late 70s reformed and re-recorded the old McCully Workshop classics and hits as well as 6 new songs and released the album 'Buccaneer'. 'Why Can't It Rain' also received a make-over losing none of its power and gaining an even stronger production.

In 2002 Tully is still running his successful Spaced-Out Sounds Studio in Cape Town and Mike regularly packs out concert halls with his nostalgic revue shows 'Sixty Something' and 'Music Of The Millennium'.

McCully Workshop is a band that deserves to be listened to, over and over again.

Thanks to:
Tully McCully, Mike McCully, Piet Obermeyer, Michelle Longman, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, John Samson, Kurt Shoemaker, Andrew King.

deafening. While it lasted Bill Forrest said, "Could happen."

It did happen. It's still happening and we hope it will go on happening for a long time to come as more addicts become 'hooked' on McCully Workshop sound.

Producing it wasn't all that simple.

"Tully, put the cans on," comes through the speaker in Billy's dulcet tones. Everybody puts the cans on. What they hear is Tully telling them with a good deal of candid soul-searching why he couldn't do that particular number. General collapse and recording adjourned for some canned compensation.

Rich embellishes the interval with a few ninths and diminished chords while Tully murmurs, "That won't fit," or Mm, maybe," or suddenly "Hell, that's great. Do it again." Ian is heard muttering that in America the brass section has it scored for them and promptly scores a big nil by tripping over the nearest mike.

"Could happen," says Billy.

"How about this before the lead comes in?" says Mike and the peace is shattered by a furiously intricate four bar roll. "Lousy!" comes back the chorus in four party harmony with a vulgar noise from the trumpet. Billy leaps to his feet and smashes another globe in the ceiling.

"Ridiculous. Man, it's a gas. We'll use it."



Track-by-track analysis
Piet Obermeyer, November 2002

01) 'Why Can't It Rain'
Listening to this song makes me realize how much talent McCully Workshop had. Even after all these years, it sounds as fresh as the day it was recorded. 'Why Can't It Rain' was very popular in South Africa when it was first released and made #12 on the Springbok Radio Charts. It is a pity that Tully always refused to do a live version at the Fairmead Hotel!

02) 'Hardcase Woman'
Interesting guitar work by Allan with a nice bass riff from Tully.

03) 'Ice Lovers'
Nice song with a strong melody. Ian's flute complements the song very well. The "feel" of this song is typical of the 1970 era with influences from many contemporary artists.

04) 'Four Walls'
Features Ian Smith on trumpet. Not as strong as some of the other songs on the album, but easy to listen to.

05) 'Stargazer'
A very interesting song with a strong melody and some good guitar work from Allan and organ backing from Glenda.

06) 'Rush Hour At Midnight'
The first impression I get when listening to this song is that it escaped from the musical 'Hair'. Nice vocal harmonies and a good song overall.

07) 'Jackin' Around'
The opening song on the second side of the original album. The title of the song says it all. Mike doing his thing on the drum kit towards the end of the track.

08) 'Head For The Moon'
I also feel like departing for the moon somedays. A sweet song with a pleasant melody and one of my favorites on the album. The trumpet blends in well with the rest of the band. Looks like Tully started practicing to sing 'Blues in C Minor' (from 'Ages' album) if you listen to the "announcement" at the start of this song.

09) 'The Circus'
Something different although not one of my favorites on the album. Nice vocal harmonies.

10) 'Years Of My Life'
Starting with a serious church organ, this track unfolds to a refreshing ballad with a cool melody. Sounds like early Byrds, but still distinctly McCully Workshop.

11) 'Fast Car'
The opening riffs of this song reminds me of the music they used play at the Boswell Wilkie circus. Not one of my favorite songs, but obviously a filler on the album.

12) 'Séance'
The other side of life? A serious song with quiet vocals from Tully, nicely complemented with flute and guitar.

Since 1965, the McCullagh brothers, Tully (Terence) and Mike, have become an integral part of the South African rock and pop scene. They first started as the Blue Three with Richard Hyam (who later formed Pendulum) and their first album 'McCully Workshop Inc' came out in 1970 and included the epic and powerful 'Why Can't It Rain' which went to #12 on the Springbok Radio charts.

McCully Workshop also played on Jody Wayne's 'The Wedding' in 1970, but they are probably not too proud of that one, though it did hit #1 for 3 weeks on the Springbok charts.

'Genesis' released in 1971 was a concept album based on the book of Genesis from the Bible (but I guess you already figured that out) and included a number of long tracks with sub-sections, typical of the prog-rock albums of the time.

Crocodile Harris (real name Robin Graham, from Cape Town), recorded the brilliant haunting pop classic 'Miss Eva Goodnight' (Springbok #5, April 1974) which was written by Mike & Tully and featured the musicianship of all the then current McCully Workshop members.

'Ages' (released in 1975) is a great pop-rock album. This album reflects styles from different ages of music and various influences can be heard: Uriah Heep, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, etc. The vocal harmonies are really superb. '1623' is a wonderful violin-led instrumental by Richard Wilson and the blues organ solo in 'Blues in C minor' has just got to be heard to be believed (the vocals should be ignored, though).

Their 4th album, 'Workshop Revisited', released in 1977 shot them to prominence when it introduced SA fans to hits like 'Buccaneer' and 'Chinese Junkman'. The album also saw Mike McCully winning the 1978 'Songwriter Of The Year' award.

They used to play in the late 70s at the Canterbury Inn (Fairmead Hotel) in Cape Town and wonderful renditions of classic rock songs could be heard on a Sunday night. Chicago's 'I'm A Man' (with a lo-o-ong percussion solo), Barry Ryan's 'Eloise', Grand Funk's (or Traffic's) 'Feeling Alright' and of course their own brilliant 1977 hit single 'Buccaneer' could all be heard; of course no dancing was allowed on a Sunday in those days, so we had to just sit and listen... and listen we did.

Tully got very involved with the Falling Mirror project during the late 70s and 80s as producer and musician.

Skip forward to the '90s and we find Tully McCully running one of the finest recording studios in Cape Town (Spaced-Out Sound Studios) while brother Mike chalks up further success with his stage musicals like "Sixty-Something", which played to over 350,000 people over a five year period.

With many older SA albums getting a new lease of life on CD, the McCullys' decided to rework some of their old classic songs. The original late 70s band members, Richard Black (lead guitar and vocals) and Rupert Mellor (keyboard and vocals), were recalled to help flesh out the music. Mike McCully played drums and Tully handled the guitar, bass and vocals while Kevin Gibson (drums) and ex-Falling Mirror member Allan Faull (lead guitar) helped out as well.

They also recorded a number of new tracks. They named the album 'Buccaneer' after their biggest hit and it features wonderful male vocal harmonies, epic guitar solos, superb keyboard flourishes and a thundering rhythm section. McCully Workshop have lost none of the spark that made them one of SA's greatest pop/ rock bands and 'She' is just one great example of how good they still are at writing and playing catchy, listenable pop/ rock songs.

This is a band that deserves to be listened to, over and over again.

The Best Years Of Your Life
Every Tuesday and Thursday between 5 and 5:15 p.m., you could catch "Pop File" on Radio 5. This was presented by record producer Tully McCully. He had an early start in music. While he was still in his late teens he and brother Mike formed the group McCully's Workshop. The first number they recorded was 'The Wedding' with Jody Wayne and it became a hit [Number 1 on Springbok Radio in 1970]. This was followed by 'Buccaneer', 'Miss Eva Goodnight' [sung by Crocodile Harris in 1974] and 'Chinese Junkman', all of which were hits. The song 'Miss Eva Goodnight' was written by Tully when he was only 15 years old (this song was written by Mike and Tully).
-- The Best Years of Your Life (5FM, 1997), info supplied by Andrew King, September 1999
Excerpts from an interview with Tully taken from the Paul Bothner website

"My father was a famous voice on the radio back in the '60's and he had access to a studio called Sound and Film Services, every now and again he would bring home a tape machine. My brother [Mike] who plays drums and myself would play around and record ourselves in the lounge, we were about nine at the time. We recorded a track called "Swinging Time" with some other friends when we were thirteen and sent it to a record company. They really liked it and sent us to Feature film sound but it didn't sound as good as the one we recorded at home. The track didn't get anywhere but it was quite interesting. We grew a bit more and at sixteen we started a band called McCully Workshop and a whole string of other bands and I started a garage studio. I bought two Brunel tape recorders, the original old valve jobs.

Jody Wayne had come down from Jo'burg and he wanted to record a ballad, they wouldn't let him do it in Jo'burg, so he asked us to do it. I took the reverb unit out of an old Hammond organ and recorded everything with yards of reverb and it went on to sell four gold discs (it was called "The Wedding"), we made eleven rands each !! Things continued from there and the studio grew but it was much harder in those days, a four track Studer was R25,000 in '67. I then met a guy called Rocky Gush who was a complete genius he built his own four track using two Philips heads stacked to give four heads. I was impressed with some recordings he had done and asked him where he got his compresor/limiters from, he had actually made them. He charged me R30 each so I bought fifteen! We went on to build stuff and ended up with a sixteen track machine and recorded all the 'Buccaneer' stuff. Then we built a twenty-four track and did all the Lesley Rae [Dowling] stuff and finally bought an Otari twenty-four track. Listening back to those recordings I must say I actually prefer the qualities of analogue, the new 24 bit systems are ok, I never liked 16 bit".

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Workshop Revisited

Company: Nitty Gritty Records

Catalog: NGC 1018

Year: 1977

Country/State: South Africa

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: original South African pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4746

Price: $150.00

Cost: $66.00

 

Following a personnel change that saw keyboardist Rupert Mellor added to the line up the band returned with their fourth studio set - 1977's "Workshop Revisitied".  Anyone expecting to hear a collection similar to their earlier psychedelic moves is gonna' be disappointed by this set since the closest it gets to that genre is via the name of studio where the set was recorded - Tully McCullagh's Spaced Out Sound Studios.  That said, the set offers up a surprisingly varied and enjoyable collection touching on everything from African-flavored pop ('African Drums') to American disco ('Dancin' Tonite'), with stabs at blues, country, progressive, and conventional rock. Having listened to the album dozens of times, with the exception of a couple of bland ballads (notably 'Please Help Me Girl') most of the 12 tracks boast at least some feature that makes them worth hearing a couple of times.  Among the highlights are the catchy 'Chinese Junkman' (hard to imagine an American band daring to sing such socially out of synch lyrics), 'Buccaneer' (which some people seem to think is the best South African rock song ever written) and the reggae-flavored 'Man On the Moon'.   The band also enjoyed two massive regional hits via:

 

- 1977's 'Chinese Junkman' b/w 'And I'm Lonely' (Nitty Gritty catalog number NGS 170)

- 1978's 'Buccaneer' b/w 'Please Help Me Girl' (Nitty Gritty catalog number )

 

The album won't change your life in any way, but it is surprisingly enjoyable and one that I play on a regular basis (off of a CDR that I've made).

 

"Workshop Revisited" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) African Drums   (Mike McCullagh - Tully McCullagh) - 3:30

2.) Chinese Junkman   (Mike McCullagh) - 3:00

3.) Come Let Me Love You   (Rupert Mellor) - 4.00

4.) The Train (instrumental)   (Richard Black)  - 4.12

5.) Please Help Me Girl   (Tully McCullagh) - 2.20

6.) Fame And Fortune   (Mike McCullagh) - 3.25

 

(side 2)
1.) Dancin' Tonite   (Rupert Mellor) - 4.12

2.) Buccaneer   (Mike McCullagh) - 4.45

3.) And I'm Lonely   (Rupert Mellor) [3.30]

4.) Man On The Moon   (Richard Black) - 3.20

5.) The Right Time (And The Right Place)   (Rupert Mellor) - 3.28

6.) All In The Game   (Tully McCullagh) - 4.52


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